A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lamb or Chicken Tagine

The word Tagine is used for both the style of Moroccan cooking as well as the vessel that the food was cooked in. A Tagine looks like a large round oven safe “platter” covered by a tall “top”. My first experience eating this style of food was in Paris. Unlike traditional French food, which is small in portion, a Tagine is a hearty warm and filling meal. As starving student we could not wait to head over to the left bank of Paris and eat these “stews”. My guess is that in France the Tagine is vestige of the time when the French colonized Morocco, but I am no historian.

So you are wondering, do I need a proper Tagine vessel to cook this dish? No. I have an Emile Henry one and almost never use it to cook in. It will make for a very pretty serving piece though. All clad also makes one. I use my slow cooker if I want to smell the stew simmering away all morning or switch to a Dutch oven (7 quart) and reduce cooking time to about 2-3 hours. Bring to a boil then keep the stew on you stove over a low simmer.

2 ½ pounds of Lamb for stew, I use shoulder meat
(If you want to feed more people you can add chicken parts as well- might I suggest dark meat)
5 large white onions, peeled and cut into a medium dice
2 heads of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
2 cups chicken stock
5 oz of pitted green olives
2 lemons preserved/confit- use the outer rind not the pulp and cut into a small dice
2 Tablespoons Harissa

Place all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer on high for 6-8 hours. Serve over couscous (1box prepared as per instructions on box)

Add 1-2 tablespoons ginger, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon saffron threads,
1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric for a version with more spice

Also, 1 bulb sliced sautéed fennel, 1 sautéed eggplant cut into a medium dice and or
1 roasted red pepper can be added for more vegetables

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